12 November 2007

2007 Week 10 Recap

Eagles at Redskins, Sunday, November 11, 2007

In attendance: Ex-Navy Cheesehead, Shoegal, Chef Spouse – the regular Sunday crew

Menu: grilled cheese and cream of tomato soup. YUM! First really chilly weekend of the 2007 season. Plus assorted snacks courtesy of the gang.

We won. We finally won our first divisional game of the 2007 season. McNabb passed for over 250 yards and 4 TDs, and had a QB rating of 138.5, passing Jaws to take the top spot on the all-time Eagles completion list in the process. Trent Cole and Joselio Hansen both picked up fumbles, Cole at a really key time, on the Skins 10 with just over 2 minutes to go, and the Eagles only up by 1. The D had two key goal-line stands, forcing the Skins to take 3 when they were first-and-goal both times. West36 rushed a century and received almost another, putting us in the lead for good with some sweet moves that turned a little screen pass into a 57 yard TD with about 3 minutes to go. To quote NFL.com: "Apparently stunned by the play, the Redskins never recovered -- and never came close to scoring on their final two possessions.” I got to talk smack to Cool Web Dude (Skins Fan) and New Boss. Almost a perfect Sunday, right? (Not quite perfect – the Cowboys won – but still.)

So why am I not more excited? Could it be because, as I noted to Cool Web Dude, it seemed like the Skins changed their minds with about 5 minutes to go and said, "Nah – we really don’t feel like winning today. Here you go [handing over the game] – you go ahead and win” more than us taking a win? As Chef Spouse observed, sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good. Most of this season, we’ve been neither. And we got some lucky breaks when Sean Taylor and James Thrash went down, and when Jason Campbell just seemed to lose it in the last two minutes. But still, it seems more like the Skins lost than that we won.

While watching the game, Shoegal and I were discussing potential causes of our 2007 doldrums, and, near as I can figure, the big change this year seems to be a lack of big plays on both sides of the ball. McNabb is checking down way too much to guys who are two yards short of the down. The defense is holding teams to low points totals (we’re 12th, 10th out of teams that have actually played 9 games so far), but we’re used to seeing some defensive scoring, and we just haven’t seen any of that this year. Our team chemistry is built around big plays. For good or ill, we’re not a grind it out on the ground bunch. So when we lose those big plays, it really kills us.

Also, did I miss something this past week? Several commentators were talking about McNabb being in danger of losing the starting job? To whom? AJ Feeley? A rookie who’s never taken an NFL regular season snap? Is someone completely crazy?

Around the rest of the NFL…

The Packers pitched a shut out over the Vikings. Also, given that Adrian Peterson’s season may be over, so go the Vikings. It won’t be the Game of the Century, but it will be the NFC game of the season when the Pack faces the Cowboys on November 29. Yep, I’ll be rooting for the Pack.

The Broncos over the Chiefs. Seriously, the AFC West sucks. Y’all are being demoted to become the NFC West. The NFC West is being demoted to Canadian football.

The Steelers squeaked a win over the Browns, despite the Browns leading for three quarters. Unfortunately for the Browns, football games remain (say it with me) four quarters. So what does this mean for AFC North? Are the Steelers weaker than their 7-2 record? Nah – it just means that the dominant teams in the AFC North may be shifting from Steelers-Ravens to Steelers-Browns. Also, Mr. Restricted Free Agent Derek Anderson is gonna get PAID next year.

Speaking of the Ravens, they LOST to the Bengals. Yeah, Steve McNair is D-O-N-E. He’s only 34, but he looks about 104 lately. The Bengals have no D, the Ravens have no O. Maybe they should merge into one decent team, and one team that’s guaranteed the top draft pick for about the next decade.

The Saints lost to the Rams, who were once again enjoying the services of Steven Jackson, back from an early season groin injury. Oh well, you can’t lose every game, right?

Or maybe you can, as the Dolphins dropped #9, this one to the Bills. Of course, I shouldn’t speak so soon, as we play the Dolphins next week. Watch them find a way to win...against us.

The Falcons won out over the Panthers. Sorry Vinny! Amazingly, the 3-6 Falcons still have a chance to win NFC South. Speaking of bad divisions, the South is bad. B-A-D. BAD. BAAAAAAAAAAAD.

The Jags over the Titans. That was fairly surprising, at least to me. Now the AFC South has three teams with winning records. And the Texans would likely make the playoffs in the NFC. No wonder the NFC hasn’t won a Super Bowl in, like, a million years.

The Cardinals over the Lions. Huhn? Just when it was starting to look like Jon Kitna and Rod Marinelli were pulling it together in the 313.

The Cowboys won out over Giants team that managed to hang in there for the first half and then promptly fell apart. I’d say that the Giants might be regretting the Philip Rivers/Eli Manning trade, but did you see the Chargers game? The Chargers’ Midget Mac, Darren Sproles, returned one kickoff and one punt for TDs, Peyton was throwing to a bunch of guys the Colts signed from the practice squad on, like, Thursday (when he wasn't throwing picks), and the Chargers still almost managed to blow a 23-0 lead. Norv! maybe shouldn’t be a head coach.

The Bears managed to squeak by the Raiders, but only by bringing back Rex Grossman. The Raiders are now 2-7. In AFC West. Another 2-14 season on tap? Could be...

And of course, the Chargers hung on to beat the Colts. Did Peyton Manning and Brett Favre switch teams for the week? I would think so, if both of them weren’t so recognizable. Peyton threw 6 INTs. He’d only thrown 4 ALL SEASON before last night. In the meantime, speaking of being lucky rather than good, did you see that amazing catch Ruvell Martin made? OK, it wasn’t an amazing catch – it was being in the right place at the right time with Vikings Darren Sharper and Cedric Griffin unable to decide who should intercept Brett Favre. So what’s the Peyton connection? That’s usually the kind of catch/luck you see Marvin Harrison having. The same Marvin Harrison who’s hurt now. Along with Dallas Clark. And the overwhelming majority of the rest of the Colts. I’d talk more smack about the Colts if it wasn’t for the fact that the last time we were dealing with that level of injury was 2005, when we went 6-10. The Colts have already bettered that record, even if they don’t win another game. Which they will, because the rest of their schedule is Chiefs, Falcons, Jags, Ravens, Raiders, Texans, Titans. Yeah, even if nobody heals up, that’s another 5 wins, easy. As long as Adam Vinatieri can throw off his funk. Peyton was a man and took the lion’s share of the blame for last night's loss (um, yeah, those 6 picks might have hurt your chances to win), but I guarantee that if Vinatieri has another game like he did last night, it’ll be more "our kicker’s a punk” interviews.

The Seahawks are currently up 10-0 over the 49ers in the first quarter. The Eagles have a better chance of winning Super Bowl XLII than I have of staying up to see the end of this stinker. Not even Jaws' stellar commentary is sufficient inducement.


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